HOUSTON, Miss.(WCBI) – Investing in small communities.
That’s the aim of a program known as “Opportunity Zones”
“Houston eventually, with some growth, could become a commercial hub to the area,”said Chickasaw County Economic Developer Sean Johnson.
That’s the goal of Economic Developer Sean Johnson as he introduces The Opportunity Zones Program to Chickasaw County. It’s a program that’s part of the Jobs Opportunity Act.
“What it does is allowed capital gains to be reinvested into these Opportunity Zones without the tax penalty. ,”said Johnson.
Houston is just one of the thousand Opportunity Zones throughout the country competing with places like West Hollywood and parts of the Virgin Islands.
Johnson says the incentives for joining the program here, makes Houston an attractive place to invest.
“The beauty of Houston, I think, is the cost to get in is so low. The potential returns are so high. I think those are unique selling proposition,”said Johnson.
Cliff Walters is one of the owners of The Bus Stop Flowers and Gifts. He says the Opportunity Zone will benefit the downtown area.
“Years ago the whole square use to be full. All the stores were full. There was plenty of shopping. We would love to see that again, so that on Saturday it’s not one side is dead and there’s just a couple places open everywhere else. It would get more business in,”said Walters.
Along with reinvesting capital gains. Other incentives include no minimum or maximum investment amount, allowing investors to create their own Zone Fund.
Johnson says an investment in this zone is an investment in the quality of life for the small community.
“First you get the jobs . You get the turnover in the buildings, the rehab of the building and the jobs associated with that. Then you have the business that inhabits the building. Then with the buildings it brings up the quality of life of Houston. If we get a restaurant, if we get a new dress shop, or even any dry cleaners any type of business provides more choices for the community not just in Houston but in Chickasaw County at large,”said Johnson.
There are 100 new zones designated in the state , selected by the governor and different developers throughout the area.